Tag Archives: Backup

Houses Built for Off-Grid Living Include Earthships Built with Hemp, Hay, Rainwater Collection and Passive Solar Heating

Off-grid living can vary widely, but generally embraces a sustainable, autonomous lifestyle including generating your own solar power, rainwater collection, waste removal/sewage solutions (such as a worm farm waste system) and growing indoor aquaponic gardens

Living Off Grid - Houses Built for Off-Grid Living Include Earthships, Hemp and Hay

Living Off Grid – Houses Built for Off-Grid Living Include Earthships, Hemp and Hay

Please Follow and Like our Off Grid Living Facebook Group Page

Adelaide, Australia – Kathy Menzel says she used to be completely oblivious to power bills, “just running along in the hamster wheel like everybody else, you know, busy, busy, busy, spend, spend, spend”. She and her husband Bob, both IT professionals, did have an inkling they wanted something different though, yearning for a serene country lifestyle with no neighbors.

When they finally found their dream block in the Adelaide Hills, reality hit home. “We’d been looking for five years for this great piece of land in the middle of nowhere but still easy to commute to the city,” she says. “But it was going to cost $450,000 to get on to the grid.” The cost of connecting was far more than the $238,000 for the 10 acre block, which was only 1.5km from a main road.

Undeterred, Menzel researched sustainable housing and calculated their energy and water needs. The result was a self-sufficient home they’ve been enjoying for four years now – which cost $150,000 less than the price of connecting to the grid. “It’s completely changed my way of living and my whole understanding of everything to do with energy waste and carbon,” she says of her new minimalist, eco-friendly lifestyle.

These days Menzel is acutely aware of her energy and water consumption. “It’s not an endless resource; someone’s paying for it somewhere, and I mean look at the climate – the Earth is paying for it, isn’t it?”

What are the challenges and perks? “Oh, just perks,” she laughs.

For one reason or another, Australians are increasingly taking up the gauntlet while governments drag their feet on sustainable housing regulations. Even the six-star building standards, for instance, just don’t cut it, says Menzel. “You know, you can put windows wherever you like and you can just run a big great air-conditioning system and pay a fortune.”

They built their home guided by “passive house” principles, achieving a 7.9-star energy rating. With no air-conditioning and a combustion heater for cold winter evenings, she says it never goes below 16C or above 26C inside in a region that dips below zero in winter and can soar over 40C in summer. Two rainwater tanks provide plenty of water, with enough to spare for the South Australian Country Fire Service.

Off-grid living can vary widely, but generally embraces a sustainable, autonomous lifestyle. This includes generating your own power, water, waste removal and sewage solutions (such as a worm farm waste system) and can extend to growing your own food.

Possibly the ultimate answer to sustainable living is the earthship, a passive solar shelter made from recycled tires, plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans. “You can use other stuff as well,” says expert Martin Freney. “Like you can salvage sheets of metal from car bodies and old fridges and washing machines and use them as roof shingles if you’re really creative.”

Read more at => https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/29/earthships-hemp-and-hay-the-houses-built-for-off-grid-living

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Off Grid Living - Prepping to Live Off the Grid

Guide to Off Grid Living Launches New https://livingoffgrid.home.blog/ Website to Complement Its Facebook Discussion Groups and Business Pages

The Facebook pages/groups and the off grid website provide info on building off grid homes, producing solar power, growing organic gardens, raising livestock and harvesting rainwater in Arizona, California, New Mexico, New York and Texas

Please Follow and Like our Off Grid Living Facebook Arizona Group Page

SACRAMENTO, California – The Guide to Off Grid Living announced today that it has launched a new website to educate people that want to buy a rural piece of property and build an off-grid homestead in Arizona, California, New Mexico, New York or Texas.

“Today’s world is full of high-technology gadgets, computers, cell phones, cloud-based services that are all dependent on electricity, but as more than 2 million people found out in California, that can change instantly overnight and without warning,” said Robert Hoskins, Editor, Guide to Off Grid Living. “Our living off grid guide is written specifically to help beginners learn how to survive as long as the sun is shining and the clouds are raining.”

“Even if you live in a suburban or a downtown urban environment, almost anyone can prepare themselves and their family to live in a world without water, gas or electricity from local utility companies, which might vanish overnight, whether it be just for a couple of days or many months at a time,” Hoskins continued. “On the plus side, imagine what it would be like to live in a home with zero utility or grocery bills.”

The site is located at Living-Off-Grid.com and covers a wide variety of off the grid subject matters, how-to articles, video tutorials and guides for beginners, which provide top tips, tricks and strategies for off grid living and homesteading.

Building an Off Grid Shelter

For shelter, the site provides insightful information that beginners can use to research, plan and build their first off grid home, cabin, shed, tiny home, container house, earthship, steel building, terraced homes, yurts, glamping tents, Indian Tipi, underground bunker or wilderness shelters.

Living Off Grid - How to Turn a Shed into an Off Grid Cabin or Home

Living Off Grid – How to Turn a Shed into an Off Grid Cabin or Home

Installing an Off Grid Renewable Energy Power Source

For energy, the site details how to harness solar, wind and hydro energy to produce solar electricity, solar hot water, passive solar window furnacesolar lighting systems and solar ovens for cooking as well as the best backup generators.

Guide to Off Grid Living - How to Select between Mono-Crystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Guide to Off Grid Living – How to Select between Mono-Crystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Planting an Off Grid Garden and Raising Livestock

For food, the site details how to plant organic raised-bed gardens to grow vegetables, grain, medicinal herbs; how to build aquaponic gardens/fish farms; and how to raise chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, bees and other live stock to put food on the table.

Off Grid Living - How to Build a Predator Proof Chicken Coop to Protect Against Foxes, Skunks, Opossums and Raccoons

Off Grid Living – How to Build a Predator Proof Chicken Coop to Protect Against Foxes, Skunks, Opossums and Raccoons

Providing an Off Grid Source for Fresh Water

For water, the site details how to collect water utilizing rainwater harvesting systems using rooftops and collection barrels/cisterns; how to build fresh water ponds for raising fish/aquatic plants; and how to drill your own well if the water table is close to the surface.

Off Grid Living - How to Install Rain Barrel Cisterns to Collect Rainwater and Store It to Provide Water

Off Grid Living – How to Install Rain Barrel Cisterns to Collect Rainwater and Store It to Provide Water

Providing an Heat Source for an Off Grid Home, Cabin or Shed

For heating, the site details how to select wood stoves, micro stoves, stove top blowers, small rocket stoves or large rocket mass heater/masonry stoves and tutorials on selecting the best chainsaws and how to build a firewood shed to keep wood dry.

Living Off Grid - Using an Efficient Wood Stove to Heat an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

Living Off Grid – Using an Efficient Wood Stove to Heat an Off Grid Shed, Cabin or Home

The Best States to Start Living Off the Grid

In addition to its first five business pages on Facebook, https://livingoffgrid.home.blog/   provides information for beginners that want to learn more about what it takes to live off the grid in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming or anywhere in the United States.

Off Grid Living - How to Buy Raw Land Parcels for an Off Grid Homestead

Off Grid Living – How to Buy Raw Land Parcels for an Off Grid Homestead

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Batteries vs. Blackouts – 1,100 Homes Powered Through Vermont Outage With Storage

Utility Green Mountain Power’s pilot programs paid off with
clean, distributed backup power amid a statewide outage

Living Off Grid - Batteries vs. Blackouts - 1,100 Homes Powered Through Vermont Outage With Storage

Living Off Grid – Batteries vs. Blackouts – 1,100 Homes Powered Through Vermont Outage With Storage

Home batteries proved their resilience value during Vermont’s Halloween blackout.

Vermont – A major rain and wind storm struck the state at the close of October, knocking out power to some 115,000 customers. Among those affected, 1,100 homes managed to keep the lights on thanks to pilot programs specifically designed to promote resilient backup power with energy storage. The battery backup service lasted nine hours on average, but the longest instance stretched to 82 hours.

The event offers a timely data point for other jurisdictions mulling the use of home batteries for resilience. Northern California community power purchasers yesterday requested proposals for home batteries to keep customers powered during the region’s fire-season safety shutoffs. Such a model remains cutting-edge, but Vermont utility Green Mountain Power has shown it can be done effectively.

A couple of years ago, Green Mountain Power launched a Grid Transformation Pilot that allowed homeowners to pay a monthly fee to host a utility-owned and controlled Tesla Powerwall battery. The residents could use it for backup in an outage, and the utility could dispatch the capacity to manage peak demand at other times.

The program previously generated more headlines by saving hundreds of thousands of dollars during annual system peak events than for fulfilling the backup function. In 2018, GMP’s network of batteries reduced consumption during the ISO New England peak hour, saving about $600,000 on capacity fees. This year, a larger number of batteries, totaling 10 megawatts of capacity, responded to a late July peak, saving nearly $900,000 from a single hour of operation.

“We think about our need to deliver reliability constantly,” said Josh Castonguay, the utility’s chief innovation officer. “This has provided us with an amazing tool that can deliver reliability and also pay for itself.”

Those successes made for favorable economics for the utility system as a whole. But the Powerwalls hadn’t had a major opportunity to chance to demonstrate the backup benefit that was promised.

That changed on Halloween.

“We had near-100 mph gusts on top of some of the ridge lines,” Castonguay said. “We had damage across the entire state.”

The 1,100 homes that islanded from the grid accounted for the largest home-battery backup event in the utility’s territory so far, he added.

One reason for that: The utility keeps adding more batteries.

Read more => https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/green-mountain-power-kept-1100-homes-lit-up-during-storm-outage

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Enphase: Demand for Solar-Battery Systems Could Soar After California Blackouts as Customers Forced to Live Off Grid

Grid woes “will only increase the attach rates for storage” in the country’s biggest rooftop solar market, Enphase CEO says.

Living Off Grid - Enphase - Demand for Solar-Battery Systems Could Soar After California Blackouts

Living Off Grid – Enphase – Demand for Solar-Battery Systems Could Soar After California Blackouts

Enphase’s current growth is based around its core solar microinverter business. But in discussing the company’s Q3 earnings Tuesday, CEO Badri Kothandaraman focused on how Enphase’s soon-to-launch integrated energy storage system could aid Californians facing the state’s unfolding wildfire and grid blackout emergency.

California-based Enphase is far from the only residential solar equipment provider adding batteries to the rooftop PV proposition. Sunrun, the U.S. rooftop solar leader, says that a quarter of its California solar customers are now choosing to add batteries to their systems.

While Kothandaraman declined to predict how many battery-backed Ensemble systems the company will sell, he expects similar “attach rates” to those seen by Sunrun in the California market.

The demand for solar-battery backup systems could skyrocket, Kothandaraman said, with millions of Californians undergoing days-long blackouts this month under the expanded fire-prevention power outage regime of bankrupt utility Pacific Gas & Electric.

Read more => https://buff.ly/34g7G6M

#California #OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid #Enphase #MicroInverters #Solar #Panels #Batteries #PGE #Wildfire #Blackouts #Discounts

Elon Musk Says He has the Solar Solution for California’s Fire-Related Blackouts Starting at only $15,000

Order Tesla Solar + Powerwall battery for 24/7 clean power and no
blackouts!, Musk
tweeted, adding a link to the solar section of Tesla’s website

Living Off Grid - Elon Musk Says He has the Solar Solution for California’s Fire-Related Blackouts Starting at only $15,000

Living Off Grid – Elon Musk Says He has the Solar Solution for California’s Fire-Related Blackouts Starting at only $15,000

SAN FRANCISCO — As California faces massive wildfires and extensive power failures, Elon Musk has taken to Twitter with his latest cause: equipping residents here with solar panels and giant batteries to power their homes.

In a series of tweets last week, the Tesla chief executive made a simple case to affected state residents: buy his solar and battery setup to ride out the next disruption. Power shut-offs from the local utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, will only become more prevalent over the next decade. And solar-equipped homes are more efficient and better valued on the housing market. He even offered a $1,000 discount to those affected by days of power failures caused by wildfires.

“Order Tesla Solar + Powerwall battery for 24/7 clean power & no blackouts!” Musk tweeted, adding a link to the solar section of Tesla’s website.

Read more at => https://buff.ly/2PPUOAe

#California #OffGridLiving #LivingOffGrid #ElonMusk #MicroInverters #Solar #Panels #Batteries #PGE #Wildfire #Blackouts #Discounts

What Electric Power Outages Mean for Solar’s Potential in California to Solve the PG&E Electricity Blackouts

Recent blackouts in California have millions of people looking for ways to keep the power resulting in a huge spike in interest in another technology – solar panels and home batteries

What Electric Power Outages Mean For Solar's Potential in California

Living Off Grid – What Electric Power Outages Mean For Solar’s Potential in California

Solar Power to Solve Northern California Wildfire Electricity Blackout Crisis

The recent blackouts in California have millions of people looking for ways to keep the power on. Some bought portable generators, but there was a huge spike in interest in another technology – solar panels and home batteries. Lauren Sommer of member station KQED reports.

Interview of Anne Hoskins by Lauren Sommer, KQED

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: Power is out at every house on this block in the Berkeley Hills. You could tell ’cause all the cars are parked outside the garages ’cause the garage doors won’t open, except for one.

HOWARD MATIS: Well, it works.

SOMMER: Hi, there.

MATIS: Hi.

SOMMER: I’m Lauren.

MATIS: Hi, Lauren.

SOMMER: The lights were on at Howard Matis’s house during the last PG&E outage. His fridge…

MATIS: Which you can see – fully powered and cold.

SOMMER: That’s because inside his garage…

MATIS: OK. We can go up here.

SOMMER: …Are two Tesla Powerwall batteries, about four feet tall, mounted on the wall.

MATIS: The whole house – everything – everything is powered by these two batteries.

SOMMER: The solar panels on his roof keep them charged. Solar alone won’t usually work during an outage because it’s still connected to the grid. But batteries let you wire a house to be its own little island, a 24-hour microgrid. Matis bought this system because he expects California’s fire problem to get worse.

MATIS: I lived through one disaster, and so I know what a wildfire is like.

SOMMER: Matis lost his home in the 1991 Oakland Hills fire. Some of his neighbors died trying to escape. People there are more fire-aware now. The power lines are buried underground. But they’re not immune from PG&E’s blackouts. Matis is still frustrated with the utility.

MATIS: I’ve talked to PG&E in the past, and I realized they didn’t know what they’re talking about.

SOMMER: Folks from the utility beg to differ. But other companies see an opportunity in that resentment.

ANNE HOSKINS: We’ve had a very big uptick in – I guess we would call them leads.

SOMMER: Anne Hoskins is chief policy officer at Sunrun. It sells solar and battery systems.

HOSKINS: We have a better way than relying on this, you know, over-a-century-old system.

SOMMER: Hoskins says the batteries aren’t just for emergencies. Homeowners can use them every day to store solar power, unlike portable gas generators.

HOSKINS: They’re loud. They’re dirty. And that also contributes to the problem, in our view, that we’re facing, which is climate change.

SOMMER: But batteries are pricey. A Powerwall costs more than $6,000, plus installation. Hoskins says state rebates and federal tax credits can knock thousands off that price, and Tesla is offering a discount for Californians affected by the blackouts. Still, there’s the potential for wealthier homeowners to buy their way out of these blackouts, leaving everyone else feeling the brunt.

HOSKINS: How can we build a system so that all those investments that people are making can bring a benefit to the grid as a whole?

SOMMER: Hoskins says that’s possible. You can have a bunch of solar and batteries in people’s homes that can feed into the local grid and supply everyone. It’s called a virtual power plant. Sunrun is planning one in West Oakland, where 500 low-income households will get solar and batteries. The idea is that making power locally means you don’t need as many big transmission lines to bring it in from far away.

Read more of Lauren Sommer, KQED report => https://buff.ly/2NM45Xk

PG&E Forces 800,000 Customers to Begin Living Off Grid in California

Off Grid Living - Installing Solar Power to Produce Off Grid Electricity

Off Grid Living – Installing Solar Power to Produce Off Grid Electricity

PG&E confirms power will shut off to 800,000 customers statewide

Sacramento, California – PG&E announced that many of the northern counties of California will see a power shutoff beginning at midnight Tuesday; a second round of outages is expected to impact the Bay Area starting at noon Wednesday.

“The power will be turned off to communities in stages, depending on local timing of the severe wind conditions, beginning with counties in the northern part of the state,” PG&E said in a statement.

After days of warning, Pacific Gas & Electric confirmed Tuesday afternoon that 800,000 customers across 34 California counties would be left in the dark starting at midnight.

To help homeowners without power, PG&E offers customer both solar incentives for installing solar power and well as rebates for adding solar battery backup banks for their solar power arrays so that they will be able to generate their own electricity, even when the power grid has been turned off.

Guide to Off Grid Living - How to Select between Mono-Crystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Guide to Off Grid Living – How to Select between Mono-Crystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

The utility planned the shutoff as a precaution due to “unprecedented wildfire risk,” the company said in a Tuesday night press conference.

“The power will be turned off to communities in stages, depending on local timing of the severe wind conditions, beginning with counties in the northern part of the state,” PG&E said in a statement.

Off Grid Living - How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

Off Grid Living – How to Size a Generator to Back Up an Off Grid Solar System

PG&E said it would communicate with affected customers directly via automated calls, texts and emails. It also created a map of affected areas, which you can check for your neighborhood. PG&E’s site was intermittently down Tuesday, so we’ve put some of the maps in the gallery at the top of this story.

PG&E said the shutoffs would begin just after midnight early Wednesday morning. PG&E meteorologists forecast high winds to last until midday Thursday, but power could be out for several days longer.

“Before restoring power, PG&E must inspect its equipment for damage and make any necessary repairs. That process cannot begin until the severe weather event has subsided,” the company said.

The outages could last “five days or longer” in some areas.

“It’s also important to remember that some of our customers may experience a power shutoff even though the weather conditions in their specific location are not extreme,” said Sumeet Singh, PG&E vice president of the Community Wildfire Safety Program in a Tuesday night press conference.

“The reason why this happens is because of the inter-connected nature of our electrical grid and the power lines working together to provide electricity through cities, counties and regions. We’re working directly with state and local agencies to help prepare our customers and the public for this safety event,” he added.

ALSO: Map shows neighborhoods impacted by PG&E power shutoffs

The weather this week is expected to be dry and windy, which makes the risk of a catastrophic wildfire high, PG&E officials said. The utility company wants to shut off power so its electric equipment doesn’t start a wildfire as has happened in recent years. Singh stressed that the shutoff is only implemented as a “last resort.”

The number of potential customers affected in each Bay Area county, according to PG&E, is:

  • 32,613 customers in Alameda County
  • 40,219 customers in Contra Costa County
  • 66,289 customers in Sonoma County
  • 32,124 customers in Napa County
  • 14,766 customers in San Mateo County
  • 38,123 customers in Santa Clara County
  • 32,862 customers in Solano County
  • 9,855 customers in Marin County

Read more:
https://www.sfgate.com/california-wildfires/article/PG-E-power-outage-800-000-customers-length-number-14501984.php#item-85307-tbla-10

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